Sound & Vision - - ENTERTAINMENT - Corey Gunnes­tad

The Moun­tain Be­tween Us is part sur­vival ad­ven­ture and part love story within a com­pelling premise. Ben and Alex meet by chance at the air­port; their flight has been can­celled due to in­clement weather, and both have ur­gent need of reach­ing their des­ti­na­tions. Ben (Idris Elba) is a prom­i­nent neu­ro­sur­geon who is needed in surgery the fol­low­ing day, and Alex (Kate Winslet) is a pho­to­jour­nal­ist who's get­ting mar­ried in 24 hours. Thrown to­gether by ne­ces­sity, Alex char­ters a small plane to take them to Den­ver. Beau Bridges nicely fills in the oblig­a­tory role of Wal­ter, the doomed pi­lot who suf­fers a de­bil­i­tat­ing stroke at the worst pos­si­ble time, caus­ing the plane to crash in the snow-cov­ered moun­tains.

The sur­vival el­e­ment of Moun­tain takes on a paint-by-num­bers as­pect as it me­an­ders through a string of nag­ging plot con­trivances that ul­ti­mately keep our two pro­tag­o­nists res­o­lutely and con­ve­niently on their own with lit­tle hope of res­cue. Through this per­pet­ual air of dan­ger, a po­ten­tial ro­mance tries to blos­som in the frigid cli­mate but can’t seem to get off the ground, so to speak, due to un­spo­ken thoughts and feel­ings, thereby cre­at­ing the meta­phoric moun­tain be­tween them.

The 4K trans­fer takes the over­all bright­ness of stan­dard HD down a notch and yet punches up the tex­tu­ral de­tails and sharp­ness. Day­light exteriors of­fer some glo­ri­ous panoramic vis­tas of the moun­tain ranges, and night­time se­quences are not so egre­giously over­lit to the point of be­ing un­re­al­is­tic. The dimly lit in­te­ri­ors of an ice cav­ern or an aban­doned cabin of­fer sub­lime con­trast be­tween light and dark el­e­ments, whereas stan­dard HD can take on the ar­ti­fi­cial ap­pear­ance of a movie set.

The 7.1 DTS-HD Master Au­dio track is present on both the 4K and stan­dard HD discs. It's more than suf­fi­cient for the ac­tion tak­ing place on the screen and doesn't try to over­reach its lim­i­ta­tions by be­ing un­nec­es­sar­ily flashy. This is pri­mar­ily a di­a­logue-driven drama that's only oc­ca­sion­ally punc­tu­ated by the var­i­ous and ever-present el­e­ments of dan­ger. While the har­row­ing crash se­quence is the high­light of this mix, there are sig­nif­i­cant yet sub­tle touches of au­di­tory panache like the scene in the plane prior to the crash where the dron­ing hum of the en­gine re­al­is­ti­cally forces the char­ac­ters to have to shout to be heard.

Bonus fea­tures are in­cluded on the stan­dard HD disc and con­sist of three short fea­turettes, deleted scenes, a photo gallery, au­dio com­men­tary with direc­tor Hany

Abu-as­sad, and the the­atri­cal trailer.

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